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The Gluten Free Veggie

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Recipes, Reviews and Information

Recipe (GF, Vegan) | Vegan Mushroom and Chestnut Sausage Rolls

Whilst I typically have a slice of my nut roast as part of my Christmas dinner, these sausage rolls are the perfect festive alternative!

You can also make these to take along to Christmas parties, buffets and other family occasions during the festive season.

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Ingredients:

200g of mushrooms

180g of chestnuts – pre-cooked and peeled (I bought these ones)

50g of breadcrumbs (BFree make a gluten free vegan bread)

10ml of stock

ASDA Free From pastry (or any puff pastry you like! This is already rolled and so very easy to use!)

3 bay leaves

2 cloves

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons of yeast extract

Dried herbs of choice (I find sage, thyme and oregano work well)

Salt and pepper to taste

Vegan milk of choice for the milk wash

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Method:

  1. Roughly chop the mushrooms and fry with the herbs, salt and pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Heat the stock in a pan with the bay leaves, cloves and yeast extract.
  3. Pulse three slices of bread in a food processor and set aside.
  4. Add the mushrooms,chestnuts and stock to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add more herbs and yeast extract to taste if needed.
  5. In a mixing bowl add the pate mixture to the breadcrumbs, combining as evenly as possible.
  6. Lay out the pastry and place a line of the mixture about an inch wide and half an inch tall into the centre of the pastry.
  7. Brush some of the vegan milk onto one side of the pastry and fold over. Crimp with a fork.
  8. Lay a sheet of baking paper onto a tray and preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  9. Cut the roll into even pieces – you should get about 8-10 sausage rolls. You may need to wipe your knife in between each cut as the mixture can be sticky.
  10. Lay out each slice and cut a line into the top of each to let the steam out and encourage the pastry to puff. Brush some vegan milk over the top of each.
  11. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

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Advice | First Vegetarian Christmas

By Lucy and Tegan.

One of our readers asked us if we could write a post about how to cope with your first Christmas as a vegetarian! We’ve pooled our vegetarian knowledge and co-authored this post to offer some help to those worried about tackling the new lifestyle during the festive season!

 

Be prepared to be tempted. If you gave up meat for ethical reasons rather than a dislike of the taste/texture you might find yourself craving that Christmas turkey and pigs in blankets! Having recipes ready with meat free alternatives is a good start, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. Instead of thinking, ‘I’m sad I can’t have turkey,’ you’re excited about the brilliant nut roast you’re going to get to have instead. If you have veggie gravy and sausage rolls to hand, you’re less likely to feel tempted by meat or to feel sad for the food you might feel you’re missing – especially if there are certain foods you associate with the tradition of Christmas.

Have plenty of ready made vegetarian treats to hand. Christmas isn’t just about the dinner – in my family Christmastime and New Year come hand in hand with buffets, chocolate selection boxes, biscuit tins and snacks. Make sure you have vegetarian alternatives for all of these items ready before the festivities start so you don’t go hungry!

Combat the stigma! Depending on your family’s view of vegetarianism, you may experience some stigma from others around the dinner table. If you’re eating with family or friends, maybe bring along something vegetarian you’ve made that they can share and realise that your food isn’t tasteless! (and sharing’s quite nice and festive isn’t it?). My Mum’s nut roast is always popular with the meat eaters at Christmas and they often try to pinch a bit for their own dinners!

If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner be aware that some people may expect meat. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to deal with meat, but that may not be the case and when hosting you should take your guests preferences into consideration. Forcing your family to have an entirely vegetarian Christmas may just create more hostility towards your vegetarianism. Instead, see if a meat eating family member would be happy to cook the meat at their house and bring it with them. This is how we’ve always done it at my house.

Remind yourself to be proud and happy about your lifestyle. If you’re still struggling with temptation or wondering what you can eat, just remember you’re doing an awesome thing, it’s great for animals, for the planet, for your health. That more than makes up for missing out on some foods that aren’t even that great (turkey can be dry and horrible really!). I don’t miss eating meat at all any more!

Rejoice in the Christmas foods that are already vegetarian! Stuffing, Christmas pud and mince pies are all vegetarian anyway! (Of course these things are not naturally gluten free but you can get GF alternatives!)

Also rejoice in the non-food related parts of Christmas. It can be easy to bog yourself down in thinking about Christmas parties, family occasions and the big day itself as food-orientated but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re worried that you’ll feel like you’re missing out, try to focus on the other aspects of this time of year – good company, games, films, crackers etc.

I hope all of you new vegetarians have a very Merry Christmas!

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Christmas Recipe (GF, V) | Banoffee Pavlova with Salted Caramel Pecan Praline

By Lucy.

Like the banoffee pie the recipe is based on, this pavlova is very sweet and decadent, making it perfect for Christmas where indulgence is pretty much mandatory!

 

The meringue recipe is Nigella Lawson’s Prodigious Pavlova from her Nigella Christmas book, and it more than lives up to the name. The banoffee topping I have to credit to my auntie, who makes an amazing array of desserts every Christmas, and the praline I added myself to give the dessert some texture and a bit of crunch.

It’s so easy to assemble, and you can experiment with the toppings to add your own twist. It looks fabulous and makes a great centrepiece, great for sharing with family and friends, although you might be tempted to keep it all for yourself.

Once the meringue is cooked it can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, and can be frozen for a month.

 

Ingredients

 

For the meringue

8 egg whites

500g caster sugar

4 tsp cornflour

2 tsp white wine vinegar

½ tsp vanilla extract

 

For the topping

650ml double cream

1 tin of Carnation Caramel sauce

2 ripe bananas

 

For the praline

1 handful of pecan nuts

100g caster sugar

Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

 

Method

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Separate the eggs, and whisk the eggs whites until they form satiny peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar a little at a time until the meringue is glossy and stiff.
  3. Add the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla extract to the mixture and gently fold them in. Transfer the meringue to the baking parchment one dollop at a time, and form it into the shape of a nest. Remember you’ll need to fit the finished pavlova onto a serving plate, so don’t make it too big!
  4. Put the meringue in the oven, and immediately turn the heat down to 120C/gas mark 1/2. Allow it to cook for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave it in the oven to completely cool. Try not to open the oven door, or the meringue could crack.
  5. While your meringue is cooking you can get started on your praline for the top. Use a little butter to grease a baking tray, and add the 100g caster sugar to a saucepan – be careful not to get any sugar on the sides of the pan or that could stop the sugar caramelising properly. Put the saucepan on a low to medium heat and leave the sugar to melt. Keep an eye on it, as you don’t want it to burn. Resist the temptation to stir the sugar or you could cause it to crystalise.
  6. Once the sugar has melted to a warm amber colour, throw in your handful of pecans. Swirl them in the sugar, when they’re nicely coated pour the mixture quickly onto the tray. Lift the tray and turn it to get the pecans to spread evenly. While it’s still hot, sprinkle a little sea salt over the top.
  7. Once the pecans have cooled, remove them from the tray and cut them into chunks.
  8. Once you’re ready to assemble your pavlova, carefully peel away the baking parchment and transfer it onto a large plate. The meringue should be soft and marshmallowy inside so you will need to be careful with it. A few crack add to the charm though, so don’t be discouraged if it crumbles a little.
  9. Whip up your double cream until it’s soft and thick, and fill the centre of the meringue. Next, drizzle over the caramel sauce, and arrange the sliced bananas so they cover the top. Finally, crumble over the salted caramel praline and serve!

 

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 30 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

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Awareness | The 7 Family Members Coeliacs Interact With At Christmas

Yes it’s the 1st of December today! We can officially start thinking about the big day. For Coeliacs, a lot of the planning will be about what to eat, how to avoid cross contamination and making sure you enjoy your day just as much as the non-Coeliacs. But whenever there is a family occasion you will inevitably deal with family members commenting on your diet – some helpful, some not.

 

The Understanding Uncle – I hope you all have one of these. This family member gets it – perhaps they know someone else with dietary requirements, perhaps they deal with their own intolerance/disease/IBS and they know exactly how to help you avoid cross contamination. They give you a knowing look as you unpack your tupperware of gluten free goodies and help you to avoid any gluten in the shared dishes.

The Clueless Family Member – As much as you explain it there will always be one family member who just doesn’t get it. “What is it you can’t eat again – cheese?” they’ll say as you tuck into your homemade bits and pieces. “Would you like some brussel sprouts? Or can you not eat those?” they’ll say, a perplexed look on their faces. These family members aren’t being malicious – perhaps they’re from an older generation where awareness wasn’t as good, or perhaps they just forget, but either way they’re not trying to annoy you. Just calmly keep explaining and hope that one day they’ll understand what gluten free means.

The Gift Giver – This family member has remembered you are gluten free and has gone to a lot of trouble to find something for you. For example, one of my aunties buys Schar’s gluten free pretzels for me whenever we have a family occasion. These types of family members are trying their best to show you that they get it and want to help! I hope you all have someone in your family who thinks of you at Christmas meals!

The Curious Cousin – This family member will be constantly looking at your food and wanting to try some. “Oh is that your gluten free XYZ? Can I try some?” they’ll say as they grab a bit of gluten free pizza from the Boxing Day buffet. This family member is not being malicious either – in their own way they are trying to be understanding and want to see what your food is like. This is an opportunity for you to show non-Coeliacs that gluten free does not have to mean taste free! If you can, it doesn’t hurt to encourage them to try things you’ve made!

The Teaser – There is always one family member who thinks it is hilarious that you have to eat gluten free. They will make jokes about gluten free food being bland, tease you by trying to offer you gluten or simply make fun of your food. These people are often not trying to be mean – they are probably just unsure how to approach your dietary issues and attempt to joke around instead of showing their lack of knowledge. Go with it so long as they’re not too rude!

The Denier – This family member still refuses to believe you about your illness. “You’re not going to have Christmas pudding?” they’ll say, probably adding something like “I heard gluten free was just a fad anyway.” If you’re unlucky enough to have someone like this in your family (I luckily do not!), just bite your lip and ignore them!

The Other Coeliac – As it’s a hereditary disease, you might have another Coeliac family member. You can give each other sympathy looks across the table as The Denier and The Teaser get on your nerves and you can share your gluten free Christmas goodies with someone!

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Recipe (GF, V) | Cheese and Herb Twists (ft. ASDA Free From Pastry)

It was an exciting moment when I first found this ready rolled Free From pastry in ASDA – my mind started to whirr with all of the Christmas party food I could create! Here’s one such recipes that is fast, low fuss and delicious!

*Disclaimer* This recipe is not sponsored or endorsed in any way by ASDA. Feel free to make your own free from pastry if you would prefer. See Lucy’s recipe for easy gluten free pastry here.

 

Ingredients:

ASDA Free From pastry

20g of grated cheddar

10g of melted butter

Dried herbs of choice (I think thyme and oregano and small sprinkle of paprika works best)

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Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Unfold the pastry and cut into evenly sized rectangular strips. Keeps any spare bits that you can’t make rectangular for later.
  3. Melt the butter and add the herbs. Lay out half of the strips onto a tray topped with grease proof paper.
  4. Brush the melted butter and herb mix onto the first half of the strips. Top with the grated cheese (top tip – use the small side of the grater!) being careful to keep it on the pastry (bits that fall on the paper tend to burn and stick!)
  5. Top each strip with another strip and press down so that they stick. Twist into the desired shape. Top with any left over cheese.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Best eaten warm but perfect cold with a dip!

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s post here.

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Brief hiatus

Due to time commitments I’m going to pause the blog for a few weeks.

Since starting my PhD and working part time alongside I’ve had less time for the blog and we need a few weeks to catch up. I want the recipe standard to be maintained and never want to feel rushed to deliver on time. We’ve got some exciting new recipes in development and they take a lot of time to test and perfect before they can be published for you to try at home!

Never fear we’ll be back on Monday 27th November with a brand new recipe and will go back to posting twice a week. Lucy will be back with another post at the start of December!

After we’re back there will be lots of new Christmas and winter recipes and posts! So stay tuned and in the meantime have a browse of our archives for recipes and advice.

Stay tuned our Facebook page for when we’re back.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

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Eating Out | A Gluten Free Guide to Prague

By Lucy.

 

This year I turned 30, so to celebrate, my boyfriend and I decided to plan a trip away to Prague.

Before doing any research I had imagined eating out in The Czech Republic as a coeliac vegetarian to be a bit of a struggle, and I was braced for little to no choice. Luckily for me, and anyone else planning on visiting, there was plenty to choose from and I didn’t go hungry once. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten better whilst abroad.

After some googling and scouring Trip Advisor I had a small list of places I wanted to try, but was surprised by how many other great restaurants we discovered while we were there. I should imagine there are plenty more gems to be found, but here are my favourites.

 

White and Crispy

 

White and Crispy is an entirely gluten free pizzeria and bakery located outside of the main tourist areas in Prague. It’s about a 20 minute walk from Charles bridge, but close to plenty of tram stops and you won’t regret making the effort to visit. We ate here twice during our short stay because everything was absolutely delicious – it’s worth the trip to Prague for the pizza alone! The base was thin and crisp, and the toppings fresh and tasty – if you’ve ever been disappointed with the tiny size of GF pizzas at home, this is the restaurant for you.

Prague

Between us, we tried the Margherita, the Vegetariana and the Quattro Formaggi, the latter of which was a white pizza without tomato sauce. All three were amazing, and the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever eaten. The owners are Italian and very friendly, everything’s homemade with fresh ingredients. I also tried the tiramisu and a little creamy cake which were both fantastic.

Prague 2

The atmosphere was casual, it’s a tiny little shop with very limited seating, but the pizzas can all be taken away if there isn’t room inside. They also sell bread and pasta, I bought some spaghetti but haven’t had chance to try it out yet.

It was a total bargain given the quality. If you’re ever in Prague, this is one restaurant you must not miss.

 

Alriso Risotteria Italiana

 

Alriso is another entirely gluten free Italian restaurant, but a lot closer to the centre of Prague this time. I was so excited to try this place, and it didn’t disappoint at all – we ended up here twice as it was so good!

Inside it’s a small intimate restaurant, with excellent and attentive staff. It was busy both evenings and had a cosy and romantic atmosphere.

There were fewer vegetarian options, but still enough choice that it was difficult to decide what to try. I opted for tomato and mozzarella gnocchi one evening, and spinach and gorgonzola risotto the next, which were delicious and I would recommend them both. My boyfriend, who isn’t gluten free, raved about both of his meals, which I do have to admit, did look very good.

Prague 4

Once we’d ordered we were brought a paper bag with some gluten free bread inside, and some olive oil to dip it in, which was a wonderful surprise. It had a dense and cakey texture and tasted great. These little touches are what made the experience so special, as I usually have to miss out on this sort of thing at home because of a lack of choice or risk of cross contamination.

For dessert, between us, we tried the chocolate fondant, tiramisu and panna cotta, but the tiramisu stole the show – it was perfectly and creamy and had a wonderful coffee flavour.

For three courses each, and a bottle of Prosecco, Alriso worked out at around £30 a head, which, considering how much we enjoyed the great food and service, was a total bargain. It was the most expensive restaurant we ate at during our stay, but was absolutely worth it.

 

Lavande

 

Lavande was one of a few restaurants we discovered during our stay, when looking for somewhere to eat during the day. They have an a la carte menu for the evenings, and a specials menu for lunch, which changes daily. The menu and specials were clearly marked, with vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options available.

The staff were very friendly and the service was great, the restaurant was modern, bright and airy, and had a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

I had the halloumi burger on a gluten free bun, which was a real treat, served with salad. It was great, and my boyfriend enjoyed his beef special very much too.

If we ever return to Prague I would love to visit Lavande for an evening meal. It was busy during the day however, so it might be worth booking a table if you have your heart set on a particular evening.

 

Vegan’s

 

We discovered Vegan’s by accident while on the way to Prague Castle. We were both worn out from a long day of walking and sightseeing and wanted somewhere to stop for a drink.

Located at the top of three flights of stairs, Vegan’s is a light and airy restaurant covering two floors. It also has an open terrace, which looks out over the rooftops of Prague, which was lovely, but a little chilly for the time of year we were there.

I hadn’t planned on eating, but once I saw the menu I knew I couldn’t leave without trying something.  The gluten free options were clearly marked and there was so much choice it was hard to pick! I was tempted by the guacamole and crackers, and the marinated peppers filled with aubergine, but in the end I went for the tofu burger, which was served on top of a potato gratin with pickled cabbage and rocket. This was my first experience in a vegan restaurant, and I was blown away by how delicious everything was, and I was so pleased I gave it a try.

Prague 6

I also tried the homemade raspberry lemonade, which was filled with fresh crushed raspberries, which was a lovely accompaniment to the meal and very refreshing. This is another restaurant I’d love to re-visit if given the chance, and I think it would be a great setting for a romantic meal.

 

Svejk Restaurant U Karla

 

Svejk Restaurant U Karla specialises in traditional Czech cuisine, which I wanted to try as most of the other eateries we visited during our stay were European. They have a separate gluten free menu, which you have to ask for, and serve gluten free beer – which is a necessity if you’re visiting Prague!

The dining area is a large and open, with dark wood and traditional Czech décor.

The menu doesn’t have a huge amount of choice if you’re vegetarian, but I opted for the fried cheese, served with chips and tartar sauce, which was great. I’m a sucker for anything gluten free fried in breadcrumbs or batter because it’s not something I can be bothered to cook at home so it’s a real treat. The chips especially were delicious. I also tried a side of Czech dumplings as I was curious to see what they were like. They were soft, comforting and very filling – I practically had to be rolled home!

My carnivorous boyfriend had the chicken schnitzel, which he really enjoyed. We both loved the sauerkraut, which came with our meals, I’m not usually a fan of cabbage, but it was delicious and I’m pleased I got to try something new.

Prague 7

Neither of us had any room left for a dessert, which was a shame as they had quite a few gluten free options, including pancakes and an apple strudel!

The service was attentive, but a little brusque, I wouldn’t let that put you off though, as the food was great and we had a really enjoyable evening in this part of town.

 

Overall I was really pleased with the amount and variety of gluten free food in Prague, I found a lot of the cafes and coffee shops had cakes available, which was a lovely surprise, and almost all of the servers spoke very good English. I didn’t feel limited by my diet once.

I’d love to visit again one day, Prague is an exciting and vibrant city with so much to do, and so much wonderful food to eat!

 

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 30 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Facebook

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie

Twitter: @theGFveggie

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E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

Advice | Tips for when you are lacking food inspiration

It can be a real struggle when you have multiple dietary restrictions (or even just one!) to keep yourself motivated to eat. There are days when you feel like you don’t want to eat anything, the thought of gluten free bread is making you cringe and all you want is to order a takeaway and screw the consequences. Here are some tips for those days when you are feeling blue about your limited diet.

Browse Tumblr or Pinterest. It may sound ridiculously middle class but looking through these websites can be a big help. I get inspired to make a lot of my recipes by looking through these pages. The bloggers shared on there make a lot of effort with the photos, layout and recipes so that you can relax and browse. Here are some of my favourite pages, who share recipes daily:

Guardians of the Food

Easy Gluten Free Recipes

Pretty Pasta

Vegan Food Inspiration

Learn to adapt “normal” recipes that you find in books, online or from friends so that you can still eat them. For example if you find a lasagne recipe you like, learn how to adjust the cooking time for gluten free. If you are dairy free, work out which type of dairy free milk best suits which type of cooking. If you are vegan, learn how to make a flax egg and substitute it into normal recipes.

Don’t limit yourself to only looking at recipes that are free from everything you can’t eat. If I googled “gluten free vegetarian onion free garlic free bean free avocado free etc.” recipes every time I was seeking inspiration I wouldn’t find a lot! You can draw inspiration from anything and if you don’t limit your searches you might find an idea you would never have thought of.

Be prepared to try new flavours. Whilst you may not be able to eat some of your favourite foods any more, new flavours are a way to develop a taste for some new favourites! For example, I can’t have garlic bread anymore and have instead made pesto ciabattas as a replacement.

Challenge yourself to make something from scratch with what you have. Instead of deciding “tonight I will have XYZ” look in your fridge and make something up. This is an idea very much pioneered by vegan foody Lauren Toyota in her “Recipe?!” video series on Youtube. She starts with no plan, gets out the ingredients she has and runs with it. It can be a really good way to kickstart new ideas and use up leftovers.

Try to recreate your favourite restaurant meals at home. If you have a favourite restaurant or cafe that you can no longer eat at, remind yourself of their menu and attempt to recreate it at home, including your dietary restrictions of course. You may be surprised how easily you can make your own pizza, curry or even sushi.

 

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Recipe (GF, V) | Spiderweb Cakes

It’s Halloween! These are a really easy and fast Halloween treat that take minimal effort but are perfect for any party! Get the kids involved or just make them yourself!

I’ve opted for chocolate cupcake and chocolate ganaches but this will work just as well with different flavoured bases and icing instead of ganache.

 

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes (makes 6-8)

50g of gluten free self-raising flour

50g of caster sugar

50g of softened butter

10g of cocoa powder

1 egg

 

For the milk chocolate ganache

50g of milk chocolate

3-5 tbsps of double cream

 

For the white chocolate ganache

30g of white chocolate (I used Green and Blacks but other gluten free brands are available)

3 tbsps of double cream

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Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter.
  3. Add the egg and continue to whisk.
  4. Slowly sieve in the flour and cocoa powder until the mixture is firm but will drip from the spoon.
  5. Place two desert spoons into each case, being careful to make sure they are all the same size (or they will cook unevenly) and place into the oven.
  6. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cupcake. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Place the milk chocolate and cream into the microwave and warm for 10 seconds and stir into a ganache. Alternatively use the bain marie method.
  8. Place one desert spoon of ganache onto each cupcake and spread with the back of the spoon until the top is coated in an even layer.
  9. Place the cakes onto a plate and put into the fridge for 1 hour.
  10. Once they have cooled in the fridge melt the white chocolate and cream in the microwave and stir into a ganache. Place into a piping bag (or freezer bag with the end snipped off).
  11. Pip concentric circles (a spiral) onto the top of each cupcake and use a toothpick to drag in different directions to make the web.
  12. Place back into the fridge for a minimum of an hour before serving.

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

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